Smoking cannabis using a pipe or bong is one of the best ways to enjoy it. There’s just nothing to compare with smoking weed, especially when you’re after its full-bodied effects! But the only thing that’s a hassle with using a pipe is after you smoke weed. How to clean a glass pipe? Do you just tuck it inside your dishwasher? Will ordinary soap and water do? Let’s find out in this guide.
How to clean a glass pipe – easy tips and techniques
Cleaning a glass pipe or bong is different, as most pipes are not just regular pipes with regular designs. Some are made of fine glass with unique designs involving arches, swirls, and twists. It’s fun to see smoke moving through these designs, but when it comes to cleaning, it’s a pain to completely remove dirt and grime from these areas!
Why clean your pipe?
Most people give up after trying a few times to clean an intricately-designed glass pipe. This must not be the case since a dirty pipe has many disadvantages.
Smoking weed from a dirty pipe will change its taste and smell. You won’t be able to enjoy the effects, flavor, and taste you’ve been looking forward to as the old weed mixes with the new.
A dirty pipe is just disgusting! Any leftover material inside the pipe can be a good place where bacteria and mold can form. When this happens, you can get sick when you smoke from your pipe. Also, dirt can permanently lodge inside the pipe, making this inefficient. You will notice that the pipe is barely producing any smoke, and some weird smells and tastes are coming from it too.
If you have a glass pipe that has never been cleaned for a long time, discard it. Remove any water, and just keep it as décor. Start with a new pipe and make sure to do right this time by cleaning it every after use.
Ways to clean a glass pipe
The following are easy ways to clean a glass pipe using simple household materials.
1. Water + dishwashing soap technique
For lightly used glass pipes, you may clean it using ordinary dishwashing soap and water. Most dishwashing liquid soaps can strip down dirt and grime without leaving any smell or soapy taste. The key is to let the mixture soak.
- Place a few drops of liquid dishwashing soap inside the glass pipe.
- Fill it with warm water. Fill the pipe up to the dirty area that needs to be soaked.
- Shake the pipe and make sure to shake well and cover the area that needs to be thoroughly cleaned.
- Let the mixture remain in the pipe for at least 15 minutes.
- Remove the mixture and flush the pipe with clean water. You may use tap water to rinse.
- Place the pipe on an area where it can stand upright with the bowl or the mouthpiece down. This will let any water inside the pipe to drain away.
- Wipe the pipe well with clean paper towels.
2. Lemon + dishwashing soap + warm water
A combination of lemon, dishwashing soap, and warm water will be tough on tough to remove dirt. Lemon has natural cleaning properties being an acid. It can also dissolve any weed residue that has remained within the inner workings of your pipe and will be gentle on the glass.
- Squeeze a fresh lemon in a small dish.
- Add a few drops of dish soap and a cup or two of water in the dish.
- Place the mixture inside the pipe and shake it. Make sure to shake well and cover the area that needs to be cleaned.
- Let the mixture remain in the pipe for 15 minutes.
- Remove the mixture and flush with clean water.
- Place the pipe on an area where it can stand upright so that excess water may drain easily.
- Wipe the pipe well with clean paper towels.
3. Baking soda, baking soda + water
Make a paste out of baking soda and water. Use equal amounts of baking soda and water and let this sit on a stain. If the stain is inside the pipe, use baking soda only. Let the powder reach the area that needs to be cleaned.
You may also use baking soda with any dirt located outside the pipe. Just apply the paste from combined baking soda and water on a stain and let this stand for about 30 minutes. Wipe the area with a clean paper towel, and you’ll find the stain gone.
4. Using salt
Salt is added to any cleaning regimen to scour the insides of delicate pipes. Use rock salt instead of fine salt. Just mix a teaspoon of salt in the dishwashing soap and water solution or lemon and dishwashing soap and water solution.
Fill the pipe with the mixture and let it stand for a while. The mixture should reach the dirty inner parts of the pipe. After about 20 minutes, shake well. Salt will move through the pipe and scour the inner walls. Salt is perfect for the job because it won’t leave a weird smell inside the pipe and won’t dissolve in soap and water as well. When you’re done, discard the mixture. Rinse with running water and dry the pipe.
5. Using a pipe cleaner
A pipe cleaner is a small tool that can bend into different shapes and forms. This tool can reach the inner spirals and twists of your pipe and will lightly scrub grime and residue off. Use dishwashing soap and warm water to soak the pipe before you scrub with a pipe cleaner.
Some pipes come with special pipe cleaning tools, but a majority that’s sold in the market does not come with these. It’s up to you to improvise and use basic pipe cleaners as long as these are narrow enough to move through the intricate details of your instrument.
Soaking always works. Soak a heavily damaged pipe. Those with thick residue must be soaked for a day as this can soften the residue to make it easier to rinse the dirt out. Soak in warm water, preferably as warm water also helps dissolve large particles. Never boil your pipe as this may crack and damage it.
You may also use special pipe soaks; these are commercially-prepared products that you will mix with water. These products are available online or from a local smoke shop or headgear store.
Lightly damaged pipes may be placed inside the dishwasher. If you have a dishwasher at home, ask the manufacturer or look for online information on how to clean your glass pipe. Usually, delicate glass is placed on top where glassware sits. You may also wash this individually or separately from other tableware or glassware if you have a heavily-damaged bong,
Alcohol soaks are also another popular way to get rid of dirt and grime/residue inside your glass pipe. Use plain alcohol; don’t dilute with water. As with other cleaning mixtures, make sure that you soak your pipe until the alcohol reaches the inner spot that needs to be cleaned.
Let the alcohol remain for at least 15 minutes and then shake it vigorously. Afterward, drain it from your pipe. Rinse the pipe with alcohol, or you may use dishwashing soap and water first to remove the strong smell. Rinse with water. Shake the pipe and then rinse with clean tap water.
9. Using professional pipe cleaners
There are so many kinds of pipe cleaners online and offline. Almost all these swear that their formula works without damaging your delicate glass pipe. There are many brands to choose from, but no matter what you selected, please check instructions really well before use.
Some professional products may also come with a special brush or soaking tray, and this adds more value for your money. Take note that some pipe cleaning products come with some kind of flavor. Although this is a bonus for some users, most are not so happy about it since it affects the taste and smell of weed. So if you’re the type who can’t stand this type of cleaner, look for scentless or flavorless options.
10. Professional cleaning agents
Sometimes, no commercial product or home remedy can save a heavily damaged pipe, and the only way to clean it is to use professional cleaning products. These products are used to clean medical-grade glass or medical instruments.
If your glass pipe is too valuable and yet heavily damaged by weed residue, use professional cleaning products instead of ordinary products. This will save you a lot of time and money, plus you’ll preserve the value of your smoking instrument.
Now that you know how to clean a glass pipe, you can clean your pipe more confidently and efficiently. Clean your pipe every after use. This will avoid hard residue from forming inside the pipe and will preserve your expensive pipe as well.